, 32:507 | Cite as

Management strategies of mealybug pests of citrus in mediterranean countries

  • José Carlos Franco
  • Pompeo Suma
  • Elsa Borges da Silva
  • Daniel Blumberg
  • Zvi Mendel


Six mealybug species have been reported as citrus pests in the Mediterranean Basin: the citrus mealybugPlanococcus citri (Risso), the citriculus mealybugPseudococcus cryptus Hempel, the longtailed mealybugPseudococcus longispinus (Targioni-Tozzetti), the citrophilus mealybugPseudococcus calceolariae (Maskell), the obscure mealybugPseudococcus viburni (Signoret) and the spherical mealybugNipaecoccus viridis (Newstead). Some of these species,e.g. N. viridis, have recently been introduced into the region and are still spreading. Mealybugs are usually occasional or minor pests of citrus, but some species can reach key pest status. Mealybug management strategies in citrus have been based mostly on classical biological control and, to a lesser extent, on augmentative releases. However, chemical control is widely used, mainly because of the poor adaptation of the principal natural enemies to the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean. The application of pheromones is still restricted to monitoring the citrus mealybug, whose sex pheromone is commercially available. Mass trapping and mating disruption should be considered for possible use in IPM programs as an alternative method to supplementary chemical treatments. Enhancement of biological control through management of ant populations is another promising tactic for control of mealybugs. Strategies for managing mealybug pests of citrus, and possible levels of integration of different tactics according to the pest status, are discussed.

Key words

Mealybugs Pseudococcidae IPM biological control Mediterranean region 


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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Carlos Franco
    • 1
  • Pompeo Suma
    • 2
  • Elsa Borges da Silva
    • 1
  • Daniel Blumberg
    • 3
  • Zvi Mendel
    • 3
  1. 1.Dpto. de Protecção das Plantas e de FitoecologiaInstituto Superior de AgronomiaLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Dipto. di Scienze e Tecnologie Fitosanitariesez. Entomologia AgrariaCataniaItaly
  3. 3.Dept. of EntomologyARO, The Volcani CenterBet DaganIsrael

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